Location: northern NJ
August 12, 2011 9:06 am
Can you identify the skippers in this picture?
Sadly, we cannot. We were recently asked by a writer conducting an interview which group we find the most difficult to identify, and without flinching, we responded the Dragonflies. There are numerous insects that we do not have the necessary skills to identify to the species level, and Skippers are very high on the list. Considering the documented number of species of these cheerful little butterflies that are often considered as transitional between butterflies and moths, Skippers might even top the list of difficult species for us. It seems there are hundreds of like colored Skipper species, and we cannot even begin to claim to be able to answer your question. According to Ask.Com: “In North America, about 275 species have been described, with the bulk of them living in Texas and Arizona.” Your photo is quite lovely and it appears there may be two different species. The lower individual is, in our opinion, a Grass Skipper in the subfamily Hesperiinae, and you can browse BugGuide for its possible identity.